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A Staff Report

Bladen County, NC — In a display of community spirit and dedication to the preservation of farmland, the Working Lands Trust, a nonprofit committed to farmland conservation and agricultural education, is pleased to announce the resounding success of its recent fundraiser, Farm Revival. Held on October 14, 2023, at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery, this event not only injected crucial funds into the conservation of farmland but also provided unwavering support to the Bladen County FFA chapters.

Farm Revival, graciously hosted by Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery, was a profitable evening that brought together participants to celebrate North Carolina’s farming heritage and the significance of agricultural education. Attendees were treated to a delightful array of raffles, sumptuous cuisine, and engaging presentations by local FFA chapters. The pinnacle of the event was a spirited live auction featuring unique experiences and coveted prizes, infusing an extra layer of excitement and camaraderie into the event.

Derrick Rice, Events Director at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery expressed his profound gratitude for being part of this meaningful occasion. He remarked, “We were honored to host 150 guests and join in the sponsorship of the Working Lands Trust benefit on October 14, 2023. Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery is deeply committed to supporting WLT’s noble mission of preserving local farms and propelling them towards a prosperous future. It is especially gratifying that a portion of the funds raised will bolster Bladen County FFA clubs, nurturing and cultivating the future generation of agricultural professionals.”

The success of Farm Revival was made possible through the generous contributions of over forty businesses and individuals hailing from various corners of North Carolina. Notably, Smithfield Foods played a critical role by graciously donating delectable pork, which was savored by attendees, underscoring their commitment to community support.

Reva Orr, West Bladen FFA Advisor, expressed her pride and gratitude towards the agriculture community, saying, “I am so proud of and thankful for our agriculture community. This is just the beginning of many of our FFA members’ agriculture journeys, and I couldn’t have asked for a better event that truly represented our mission and supported Working Lands Trust to protect our farms and working lands.”

Working Lands Trust takes pride in announcing that 18% of the funds raised during Farm Revival have been channeled towards the Bladen County School System to bolster the Bladen FFA chapters. In an ongoing effort to support agricultural education, these clubs will sell special edition Farm Revival shirts, with proceeds earmarked for further fortifying the county’s FFA programs. Through these investments in the future of agricultural education, Working Lands Trust aspires to cultivate a sustainable and thriving farming community in Bladen County and beyond.

Mikey Fulk, Executive Director of Working Lands Trust, encapsulated the essence of the event, stating, “Being raised in Robeson County, I have a special connection to this area. This event truly showcased the unwavering commitment of our farming community to supporting the next generation of agricultural producers. Equally important, it underscored their unwavering determination to safeguard our working lands, ensuring they remain productive. It is this tireless effort that will serve as the catalyst in preserving our agricultural legacy.”

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